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Thread: 100 great math rock albums you never heard

  1. #51
    The Additive and Subtractive Processes, Compounded Meters, and Beyond

    http://michaelnace.tripod.com/id4.html

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick L. View Post
    Many I have not heard of here. I am also glad to see 31Knots listed. Great band. I was lucky enough to see them on their Talk Like Blood tour. Killer performance. Their drummer also played on the Crime in Choir album The Hoop. A band that should appeal to some folks here. It Was High Time to Escape and Talk Like Blood are some other cool 31Knots albums. I have the Volta do Mar album. If there is a "Bands with two bass players" thread here, you could add them to that.
    That's news to me! Thanks for that. I'm just glad I'm not the only 31Knots fan on here!!!
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  3. #53
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticranger View Post
    The Additive and Subtractive Processes, Compounded Meters, and Beyond

    http://michaelnace.tripod.com/id4.html
    I followed along with the song while reading! Thank you for posting.
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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  4. #54
    welcome. i didn't realize DFA's Chicago piece had been recorded, also interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJCxBhhPVdI

    i still prefer Beefheart's use of polyrhythm, it's closer to Stravinsky or Ives where rhythms aren't just overlaid but pulling against each other with magnetic force. Copland too.

  5. #55


    It all comes back to this stuff from the early days of jazz exploration.
    Math Rock is nothing new. They could learn a lot from studying and listening to a much more sophisticated presentation of complex odd time signature arrangements.

  6. #56
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Oh boy.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  7. #57
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skullhead View Post

    It all comes back to this stuff from the early days of jazz exploration.
    Math Rock is nothing new. They could learn a lot from studying and listening to a much more sophisticated presentation of complex odd time signature arrangements.
    They sure could learn a lot from you. We all could learn a lot from studying a much more sophisticated presentation than us rubes with laptops are capable of.

    Why aren't we paying attention? Hmmmmm.....Will have to think about that..... Hmmmmm.....

    Maybe it's because we're all having a nice time discussing stuff here and learning stuff here and being polite to each other while the participants in this thread all learn something from each other?

    Nah. Couldn't possibly be.
    Steve F.

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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmrviana View Post
    Wow, seeing Patife Band as the first entry was a big surprise!
    This is fun indeed. For those who are not in the know, Patife Band was/is the band of Arrigo Barnabé's brother, Paulo Barnabé.

    I wonder if the band Egg would not qualify as "math rock". Lots of math and additive rhythms throughout.

  9. #59
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conti View Post
    This is fun indeed. For those who are not in the know, Patife Band was/is the band of Arrigo Barnabé's brother, Paulo Barnabé.
    I had NO idea. Will check them asap. Thanks for the tip.
    Steve F.

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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  10. #60
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conti View Post

    I wonder if the band Egg would not qualify as "math rock". Lots of math and additive rhythms throughout.
    Proto-math rock. IMO.

    I mean, the spirit of numbers and counting is there, but they are completely different in that they aren't a guitar band. And they would probably mostly not appeal to the folks that math rock is made for.

    HEY! was checking out the Patife band and only just now noticed my shout out from the list-makers! THANKS, guys!
    Steve F.

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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Proto-math rock. IMO.

    I mean, the spirit of numbers and counting is there, but they are completely different in that they aren't a guitar band. And they would probably mostly not appeal to the folks that math rock is made for.
    Thanks, Steve. I figured Egg would not qualify due to the lack of guitars, but proto-math rock sounds fair enough to me.

    By the way, in terms of math I wonder what band takes it really further, like not only adding, subtracting or superimposing rhythms, but also solving differential equations and the like :o)

    Jokes apart, I would think Michael Maxymenko would probably qualify as at least proto-math rock too, don't you think?
    Last edited by Conti; 05-02-2018 at 12:02 PM.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    HEY! was checking out the Patife band and only just now noticed my shout out from the list-makers! THANKS, guys!
    I'm glad you enjoyed. I'm not at all familiar with everything they did, but really enjoy their first album. Years ago I've attended a theater gig of Patife Band together with my cousin Paulo in São Paulo and it was FUN!

    By the way, if you are interested in Paulo Barnabé's drumming I'd recommend you to check Itamar Assumpção's first album, "Beleléu, Leléu, Eu". Totally different vibe from Patife Band, but a very idiosincratic album by one of Brazil's most original songwriters.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Conti View Post
    By the way, in terms of math I wonder what band takes it really further, like not only adding, subtracting or superimposing rhythms, but also solving differential equations and the like :o)
    As much as that's meant to be a joke, it really is amusing how awestruck people get at the "mathematical complexity" of music. Adding, subtracting, multiplication and division are generally all that's involved, usually with no more than one or two digits.

  14. #64
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticranger View Post
    it's closer to Stravinsky or Ives where rhythms aren't just overlaid but pulling against each other with magnetic force. Copland too.
    Right on - Ives was writing the most insane polyrhythmic ideas at the turn of the century. Ligeti and Lutoslawski have their share of intense rhythmic ideas too. I would surmise their influence is (at the very least) present and perhaps even strong with some of these bands.

    Could Rich Woodson be included in this style?
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Right on - Ives was writing the most insane polyrhythmic ideas at the turn of the century. Ligeti and Lutoslawski have their share of intense rhythmic ideas too. I would surmise their influence is (at the very least) present and perhaps even strong with some of these bands.

    Could Rich Woodson be included in this style?
    i was saying Captain Beefheart's use of rhythm seems Stravinskian to me, in nature not sound, math rock is more severely linear and derives from post-rock and minimalism. Brubeck is mentioned in that Drill for Absentee article but math rock is a kind of anti-jazz if anything.

    i don't know Woodson but will give a listen, thanks.
    Last edited by arcticranger; 05-02-2018 at 06:58 AM.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Conti View Post
    This is fun indeed. For those who are not in the know, Patife Band was/is the band of Arrigo Barnabé's brother, Paulo Barnabé.
    Yes, I now realise I should have mentioned that in the first place, but somehow I thought it was implied...

    Quote Originally Posted by Conti View Post
    Years ago I've attended a theater gig of Patife Band together with my cousin Paulo in São Paulo and it was FUN!
    Yes that was fun indeed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Conti View Post
    By the way, if you are interested in Paulo Barnabé's drumming I'd recommend you to check Itamar Assumpção's first album, "Beleléu, Leléu, Eu". Totally different vibe from Patife Band, but a very idiosincratic album by one of Brazil's most original songwriters.
    I have never heard that one to be honest, but we should also mention he plays on most of Arrigo's albums as well (you know, just to avoid leaving anything "implied" anymore)

    Quote Originally Posted by Conti View Post
    By the way, in terms of math I wonder what band takes it really further, like not only adding, subtracting or superimposing rhythms, but also solving differential equations and the like :o)
    Well, there's the song "Calculus" from Frank Zappa's "Dance me This" where they do use calculus in order to align the synclavier tempo with the Tuvan throat singer performance. But I don't think that qualifies, as it is not really using calculus within the musical structure/composition as such, but using it as a tool in order to synchronize the tempos from different sources.

    Maybe a better example would be the use of Fibonacci sequence on Tools' song Lateralus. Not that I care much about the final result, but it is interesting to read on how they incorporated that in several aspects of the song, from time signatures, to the lenght of musical phrases, to the lyrics and even in the timing of certain events within the song.

    And, if we go completely off topic, there's Xenakis' use of stochastic methods in his music, which is a great example of how to use some really complicated math in music composition.
    Last edited by pmrviana; 05-02-2018 at 10:23 AM.
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  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Conti View Post
    in terms of math I wonder what band takes it really further, like not only adding, subtracting or superimposing rhythms, but also solving differential equations and the like
    Actually, Sajjanu from Osaka have partly done just that. They have one (or possibly two) releases for Tzadik.

    Also, The Flying Luttenbachers (or rather Weasel Walter solo) came close in certain passages on their (his) final release of hyper-angular insanity, Incarceration By Abstraction from 2007. But I wouldn't necessarily call it math-rock.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by pmrviana View Post
    And, if we go completely off topic, there's Xenakis' use of stochastic methods in his music, which is a great example of how to use some really complicated math in music composition.
    Yes, and nothing called "rock" has started to approach that kind of application.

    Would "arithmetic rock" be a better name for what's under discussion here?

  19. #69
    Member Lebofsky's Avatar
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    I'm not really sure if I'm happy or sad my band Three Piece Combo made it onto that list.

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  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Lebofsky View Post
    I'm not really sure if I'm happy or sad my band Three Piece Combo made it onto that list.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Could Rich Woodson be included in this style?
    No. IMHO. Woodson's Ellipsis was through-composed, dense-as-nada contemporary chamber/ensemble-jazz/(plus zum)rock. But the main point is that (almost) ALL math-rock had/has a common source in the post-punk paradigma, and its primary influences are basically always found in the era after 1980-81; artcore (from the Butthole Surfers to Bad Brains and MX-80 Sound), heavy and thrash metal, classical minimalism, Gamelan etc. And yes, Beef and KCrim, and with some also indeed Magma - these were certainly pre-punk. But I doubt you'll find that many mathrockers who'd claim these as their primary impulse.

    I love Woodson's stuff, though.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  22. #72
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lebofsky View Post
    I'm not really sure if I'm happy or sad my band Three Piece Combo made it onto that list.

    - Matt
    Be happy!! It’s a good list!
    Steve F.

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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Be happy!! It’s a good list!
    I agree it's a good list. I just wish it wasn't named "...YOU'VE NEVER HEARD." I didn't need to be reminded of that!

    - Matt

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lebofsky View Post
    I agree it's a good list. I just wish it wasn't named "...YOU'VE NEVER HEARD." I didn't need to be reminded of that!

    - Matt
    HAHAHA

    Wear it like a badge of honor, friend.
    Steve F.

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    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  25. #75
    I can't read 100 best lists but I do hope Rodan was on it. This piece was a 90s dorm room classic and always reminded me of Larks Tongue Pt II.



    interesting that Good Morning Captain by Slint was entirely 4/4 but regarded by many as the signature math rock song


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